Anyone getting more "entitled" clients lately?

Business By costumeczar Updated 9 Apr 2011 , 8:01am by anna_bananna

all4cake Posted 17 Mar 2011 , 12:15pm
post #31 of 124

You are right Cakenator...in every generation. It could also be, the younger the age, the less likely they are to remember when things were different. It isn't just the wedding customers either.

Kitagrl Posted 17 Mar 2011 , 12:25pm
post #32 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakenator

What is with all of the harping on the 20-somethings? There are rude, ignorant, cheap, crazy people in every generation... Maybe it just seems like its just the 20-somethings because the 20-somethings are the majority of people getting married.




This is true...as a matter of fact many of my "problem" ones are people in their late 20's or 30's who are wanting birthday cakes and stuff and feel like just because they are ordering from a specialty cake shop, somehow they are supposed to also get some sort of red carpet treatment with all the "perks".

jenmat Posted 17 Mar 2011 , 5:14pm
post #33 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

I turn down business all. The. Time. If they have the words "princess" or "diva" anywhere in their email address, that's a red flag. If they sound strange on the phone, that's another red flag. If they come to a tasting and give me the fish eye the whole time while interrogating me about my qualifications, that's another one. There are plenty of ways to tell if someone is going to give you a hard time. You have to trust your inner psycho radar, and if it goes off, you should just say no to that client.

I have a blog post going up soon about booking bakers for your wedding, because I recently had a couple of people come to tastings and give me the "We'll be making our final decision soon" speech at the end of the appointment even though I warned them that their date was almost totally booked. They kept emailing me for the next week with additional questions, but guess what? The week after their appointments someone emailed and said that they wanted to hire me without doing the tasting, and where could they send the deposit? Guess who got the date? She also said "I can't believe those people waited, they're stupid."

They also both wrote me back saying that they had decided to hire me, and I had to tell them that their date was taken because they had waited too long icon_smile.gif





I have 6 more tastings (unbooked brides) for the year. I'm not booking any more unbooked tastings, not booking any more weddings. For the entire year. I don't deal with people who act like "they'll let me know" either. Now, I'm not nearly as big, talented, business savvy or lauded as Costumeczar, but I have a little niche in my area and it works for me.

How do I interview? Begins with the email. No, you can't tell everything from the email, but you can tell some things. Asking for 6 price quotes before even asking if I have their date available: seriously shopping, seriously on a budget, and seriously overestimating my need for their business.

In person some other red flags: badmouthing other vendors or bakers (they WILL find something to complain about with you too!). They have no questions and sit there in silence (they already have their baker and they just feel they must have another quote or they aren't "doing it right".) They take phone calls or texts (they aren't taking it seriously). They have a budget but then continually ask for things outside the budget. (they have visions of grandeur and need to get their ideas in line with their budget.) Show up late/way early (lack of respect for deadlines and appts- this usually means there will be late payments in the future....)

There are so many red flags, and some of them don't really mean an end to the business relationship, but they do mean that I as a business owner need to take responsibility for the result if I DO accept their business. If I know in advance that a couple will be trouble, and I take their business anyway, and then it ends badly, whose fault is it? It is mine all the way!

Motta- it isn't necessarily about being popular. I am not considered "popular." But as your business grows, you realize that hand holding and babysitting aren't as possible as when you first began and you just have to understand you can't do every cake that comes your way. Why not choose those that really will help grow your business versus those that you can recognize have more risk attached to them?

mahal50881 Posted 17 Mar 2011 , 5:38pm
post #34 of 124

A MONTH ago, I got an email from a lady wanting a 3-D xbox cake with a controller. I quoted her a price and didn't hear from her again. She emailed me YESTERDAY and basically said, sorry for the short notice, but the lady I hired to do the cake ended up being extremely unreliable. Can you still do the cake for me? It's this Saturday.

Um, sure I can. But I'm raising the price by $20. First of all, I already have 4 cakes for this weekend and I also have a 3 year old daughter. Second, it's one thing to say you forgot to book the cake with me, but to actually tell me in your email that I was your last choice?

She emailed me back and said she no longer needed the cake. I'm sure she'll go to a cheaper place and get a plain sheet cake with a picture of an xbox on it. I'll be checking cakewrecks for it.

sberryp Posted 17 Mar 2011 , 6:31pm
post #35 of 124

It's not only young people, who are doing this crazy stuff. I have had older customers that have done the same thing. I do agree with what most of the comments. Turn the business down and save yourself the head ache.

costumeczar Posted 17 Mar 2011 , 6:33pm
post #36 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by jentreu


...Now, I'm not nearly as big, talented, business savvy or lauded as Costumeczar...

...

But as your business grows, you realize that hand holding and babysitting aren't as possible as when you first began and you just have to understand you can't do every cake that comes your way. Why not choose those that really will help grow your business versus those that you can recognize have more risk attached to them?




Okay, first of all thanks, but I also have to wonder what you're smoking to think that, hahaha!

And you're totally right about the hand holding and taking every cake that you can. You don't have to do either, and you train your customers to expect it if you do it. It's not worth the aggravation in the long run.

FullHouse Posted 17 Mar 2011 , 6:46pm
post #37 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by sberryp

It's not only young people, who are doing this crazy stuff. I have had older customers that have done the same thing. I do agree with what most of the comments. Turn the business down and save yourself the head ache.




My grandmother comes to mind. She is old school, old world and for 90 years will try to bargain prices even in retail stores. Fully expects red carpet treatment because she is the customer (even if she is at Kmart). I love her to no end, but would never want to have her as a customer.

Michelley1213 Posted 21 Mar 2011 , 5:36pm
post #38 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenniferkay

I just had a bride book with me who's email title was "You Won!" Won what exactly, didn't know I was in a contest...guess it's good I won.




Brawhahahah ROFL icon_lol.gif

costumeczar Posted 21 Mar 2011 , 7:56pm
post #39 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelley1213

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenniferkay

I just had a bride book with me who's email title was "You Won!" Won what exactly, didn't know I was in a contest...guess it's good I won.



Brawhahahah ROFL icon_lol.gif




That's just...really bad...Wow. She must really like herself!

VanillaCoke Posted 23 Mar 2011 , 2:05pm
post #40 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

You have to trust your inner psycho radar, and if it goes off, you should just say no to that client.




This is going in the book I'm writing one day, LOL.

costumeczar Posted 23 Mar 2011 , 3:47pm
post #41 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by VanillaCoke

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

You have to trust your inner psycho radar, and if it goes off, you should just say no to that client.




This is going in the book I'm writing one day, LOL.




Too late! I think I probably already used it in my book! icon_rolleyes.gif
I just heard from a wedding planner that one of my brides has cancelled her wedding, but the bride hasn't told me yet. I'm not surprised because my psycho radar went off with her. I should have taken my own advice.

kellertur Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 3:22am
post #42 of 124

I recently had a tasting where the bride was very demanding, wanted me to use her ingredients to save money. NOPE, healthcode and liability, and I'd still be working as long/hard. My local competitor quoted a ridiculous price of $2-3/serving. icon_lol.gif
Per her preference, I made the cake lighter on the spices, but still flavorful. She loved my cakes, but wondered if my carrot cake could be made more "carrot-y" and spicier?? WTH? More carrots? I already use a TON of carrots. So she orders a mini cake with "more carrots and spices", but since the abundance of carrots threw off the chemistry of the cake it was a weird mess, and I couldn't sell her that cake. She told me she still wanted to come in and see for herself. (oh, ok...). She said: she liked the texture of my first cake, but liked the flavor of the second cake. (slaps self). icon_confused.gif

costumeczar Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 11:12am
post #43 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by madchen

I recently had a tasting where the bride was very demanding, wanted me to use her ingredients to save money. NOPE, healthcode and liability, and I'd still be working as long/hard. My local competitor quoted a ridiculous price of $2-3/serving. icon_lol.gif
Per her preference, I made the cake lighter on the spices, but still flavorful. She loved my cakes, but wondered if my carrot cake could be made more "carrot-y" and spicier?? WTH? More carrots? I already use a TON of carrots. So she orders a mini cake with "more carrots and spices", but since the abundance of carrots threw off the chemistry of the cake it was a weird mess, and I couldn't sell her that cake. She told me she still wanted to come in and see for herself. (oh, ok...). She said: she liked the texture of my first cake, but liked the flavor of the second cake. (slaps self). icon_confused.gif




Now that's a psycho if ever there was one icon_wink.gif

Katiebelle74 Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 3:38pm
post #44 of 124

Yes I've gotten all of the above. And I agree I interview the bride/client as well. We have all worked hard to learn what we know and work hard everyday to maintain our businesses. No one needs a bridezilla in the mix of things. If they get that entitled tone I back away. Also have gotten that I spoke to another baker and she said "this price this flavor etc...." my response to that is "Oh if you are already involved with another baker I would feel very akward about coming into the middle of something when they have already been working with you on this." That usually stops that junk. Don't try to pit me against someone else. Or mass email me. Or act entitled. Respect is a two way street, if you want me to respect you and your special event, then respect me and my hard work and don't play games.

jenmat Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 5:18pm
post #45 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiebelle74

Also have gotten that I spoke to another baker and she said "this price this flavor etc...." my response to that is "Oh if you are already involved with another baker I would feel very akward about coming into the middle of something when they have already been working with you on this." That usually stops that junk.




I have to say I love that. I had a few brides recently try that with me, and although I don't mind and even encourage them to do your research, once they've got to the draw-up-a-sketch-and-pick-out-flavors stage with another baker, I think this is a great approach.
Some of the WORST tasting meetings I have experienced have been when the bride had clearly already had another baker she loved and was "told" by others that she still needed to taste several other baker's cakes. Really? If you love someone else, it isn't going to hurt my feelings- just don't waste my time! icon_mad.gif

pinkpiggie78 Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 5:30pm
post #46 of 124

I was going to start a separate thread, but I will just throw it in here since I have been reading it. I find it so hard not give attitude to folks on the phone when they are expecting so much for so little. I just hung up the phone with someone who was asking if they bought a cake from me and then wanted cupcakes as well, if I would give them a discount for the two orders. Maybe a 200 serving cake and a few dozen cuppies, but for a 40 serving cake and 2 doz cuppies... really? I hope she doesn't call back.

indydebi Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 5:34pm
post #47 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkpiggie78

.... someone who was asking if they bought a cake from me and then wanted cupcakes as well, if I would give them a discount for the two orders.


More often than I care to deal with it, I get people who come into the hotel......

Them: How much is a room?
Me: $89.99
Them: How much is it is I stay two days?
Me: Uh ..... $89.99 times 2. (Duh! dunce.gif

pinkpiggie78 Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 5:51pm
post #48 of 124

I just don't understand the mentality... I wouldn't go to Walmart say that I am buying $100 worth of groceries, but if I bought $200 worth, can I get a discount.

Chebby Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 6:12pm
post #49 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

"Entitled" might not be the right word...I'm just curious, because I've started getting inquiries from people where they're sending a blanket email to a bunch of people saying things like "I'm looking for an amazing cake for blah blah blah...If you're up to the challenge let me know!"

Either that, or the tone of the email is kind of weird, like they're giving you the opportuity to do their cake and you should be so grateful...It's hard to describe the tone but I'm seeing more of it.

Just wondering if anyone else is seeing stuff like this, is it a trend now or what?

One thing that I've realized in getting this kind of stuff is that I also interview my brides, not only the other way around, haha! If the tone of the email is too snotty and it's also been sent to ninety other people, I delete it.




How about entitled students? I am a culinary arts instructor with more than 30 years of experience and an instructor for more than 16 years. Students often take a basic course in the hopes of making their "birthday or wedding cake." Once they see that they've got to master some skills, they then want you to do the cake with the hook-up (discount) because they've honored you with their presence. Many students have even said to me, "you'll have to help me with my daughter's sweet sixteen cake because I don't know enough yet." Help me and I'll take the next couple of courses...(fat chance of that ever happening). I teach because I enjoy it. I make cakes for compensation...how am I sending mixed signals? icon_eek.gif

Chebby Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 6:18pm
post #50 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkpiggie78

I was going to start a separate thread, but I will just throw it in here since I have been reading it. I find it so hard not give attitude to folks on the phone when they are expecting so much for so little. I just hung up the phone with someone who was asking if they bought a cake from me and then wanted cupcakes as well, if I would give them a discount for the two orders. Maybe a 200 serving cake and a few dozen cuppies, but for a 40 serving cake and 2 doz cuppies... really? I hope she doesn't call back.




Maybe you can expect a little extra because you're doing two jobs for one customer? Now wouldn't that be grand!

Dayti Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 10:05pm
post #51 of 124

I got a call yesterday from someone who works for a Spanish fashion designer...they are running an all day event to present his new collection...all sorts of different food...interested in some cupcakes - we talk about mini-cupcakes since people will be milling around, no seating. She says they would like the cupcakes to be inspired by his new collection - cool! So i'm thinking a few hundred cupcakes.

She says that they are on a tight budget, any chance of a discount? I tell her I very rarely discount, only would consider it on a very large order. So she asks me what discount would be applied on 40 (not 400, or 4000) mini-cupcakes!!!!!! Whaaaaat? Just cos you work for some fancy-schmancy designer you think you are entitled to a discount? If I walked into his store and asked for a discount I would be shown the door....
I didn't actually have the heart to tell her that if she wanted 40, she'd actually have to order 48. I just said no discount, sorry. She didn't call back icon_biggrin.gif

JPMitchell Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 10:29pm
post #52 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrie76

First off they send e-mails and texts saying they want XYZ and to call them at 555-5555.....It's almost backwards really. I don't send Pizza Hut and e-mail saying ,"I'd really like an amazing and perfect pepperoni pizza, if your up for the challenge(lol) then give me a call" icon_rolleyes.gif




LMAO!! I never thought of it that way, but I get those annoying emails all the time!!! Either that or the call me thing, when I have my phone number posted right above my email address?? I actually had someone text me asking the price of my croc cake I did and to send pictures (REALLY?). Why ask me if the pictures are readily available EVERYWHERE!! I mean I network all over the internet, and your friends with the business on facebook. Am I your mother (No), and are my calling capabilities better than yours (probably not)...

kellertur Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 10:47pm
post #53 of 124

Licensed home bakers really have to call potential customers back, or we'd put ourselves out of business. I am not always available when the call comes in, so naturally I call them back. I don't believe in chasing down a customer though. If they email, I encourage them to call me...especially if it's long distance I get the sense they are trying to avoid the expense. (many of my customers travel from other states for my cakes, or get married here).

No mass emails yet (luckily), but I do get a lot of generic "what's your price?" or "what can you do for me?" emails. I don't answer those question unless they call me, most of that info is on my site anyway.

I really like the pizza reference. icon_smile.gif

JPMitchell Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 10:54pm
post #54 of 124

Madchen, I totally agree in calling potential customers back. However, I get super annoyed at those that you know just don't want to call. I too also absolutely love that pizza reference!! We Cakers are running a normal business though, and I guess what I don't get is why we are treated differently than any other business (like we are suppose to beg for people's business). I know that I wouldn't email a business, knowing there number, telling them to call me if I wanted their services.

kellertur Posted 26 Mar 2011 , 1:27am
post #55 of 124

I agree. I'm suddenly remembering the "engaged" couple I had for a free tasting two years ago. It turned out 1/2 way into the consult that the engagement was a FAKE to get free cake. They started giggling when I stepped out of the room. Our house is very small so I overheard them. It's almost funny...but not quite. icon_confused.gif
AWESOME customers do help cancel out some of the nonsense. I'm also very lucky to have such great and talented cake friends who share their experiences and advice with. They were all banned last year, but I find email more personal anyway, along with the yearly trips to VEGAS! thumbs_up.gif

SpecialtyCakesbyKelli Posted 26 Mar 2011 , 8:15am
post #56 of 124

I guess i'm an "entitled" baker... I won't take just any order lol....... if you don't suit my fancy, you don't get my cake! I'm through with this over the top crazy stuff after being burned a few times. Now if its not something I think will look good... I don't do it...and guess what?? I'm still booked every week.

cake_architect Posted 26 Mar 2011 , 8:48am
post #57 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by madchen

I agree. I'm suddenly remembering the "engaged" couple I had for a free tasting two years ago. It turned out 1/2 way into the consult that the engagement was a FAKE to get free cake. They started giggling when I stepped out of the room. Our house is very small so I overheard them. It's almost funny...but not quite. icon_confused.gif
AWESOME customers do help cancel out some of the nonsense. I'm also very lucky to have such great and talented cake friends who share their experiences and advice with. They were all banned last year, but I find email more personal anyway, along with the yearly trips to VEGAS! thumbs_up.gif




faking an engagement just for cake?! icon_confused.gif
and i don't get it- your friends were banned? from what lol?

allie73 Posted 26 Mar 2011 , 11:55am
post #58 of 124

The entitlement thing is everywhere. I am a full-time teacher, and my students expect an "A" simply for showing up - and so do many of their parents. I had a parent email me this year and tell me that giving his son a failing grade was "awfully harsh considering you are just a high school English teacher." I return emails until 9:00 or 10:00 P.M. but had another parent furious that I didn't respond to her 11:15 P.M. request to give her daughter help with an essay. My home phone has rung as late as 10:30 P.M. This is the same stuff you are seeing in your customer.

I buy my students' supplies, I have helped clothe them and feed them, I have played Santa for a family who was down on their luck. And now the entire country tells teachers that we are lazy, entitled, and overpaid and we should "shut up and be thankful we have a job." I am an excellent teacher, but I will very likely leave the profession - I cake on the side because we need the extra money. With the enormous pay cut I am facing...there are lots of other ways to make a living that don't take the emotional toll of teaching. Which is why I am here. I am no stranger to long days and hard work and working with a wildly diverse (and sometimes entitled) public, and it just might be the right time to paint my rainbow in a different sky.

cakeglitz Posted 26 Mar 2011 , 1:51pm
post #59 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrie76

...or a weird self-esteem boost that the vendor is calling them out of desparation to serve them.



That's EXACTLY what I'm trying to describe, you put it into words. They seem to be setting me up to beg for their business and serve them.

They apparently don't know that I'm old enough to have an extremely well-developed and overactive BS detector, and it goes off when I read that kind of stuff.




Love it!!!! I am so right there with you on this one!! LOL

CarolLee Posted 26 Mar 2011 , 1:57pm
post #60 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakeglitz

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrie76

...or a weird self-esteem boost that the vendor is calling them out of desparation to serve them.



That's EXACTLY what I'm trying to describe, you put it into words. They seem to be setting me up to beg for their business and serve them.

They apparently don't know that I'm old enough to have an extremely well-developed and overactive BS detector, and it goes off when I read that kind of stuff.



Love it!!!! I am so right there with you on this one!! LOL


I got a call this week from a customer who wanted a little one-layer birthday cake for 6 people and she wanted a "tasting". I did you not! The cake sells for $22.50

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